Malzahn Hitting The Recruiting Trail For Hogs

After a dead period over the holidays, college coaches can once again make contact with prospective recruits.

One of those coaches is new Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who recently became certified by the NCAA to recruit after taking and passing the NCAA-mandated test.

Malzahn's former players, including quarterback Mitch Mustain, have been among the players Malzahn has contacted.

After returning from high school All-American games in Shreveport, La., and San Antonio this week, Malzahn and other Razorback coaches plan on hitting the recruiting trail, making in-home visits with recruits before hosting official visits in Fayetteville on the weekends of Jan. 20 and Jan. 27.

Malzahn also has spoken with Springdale players Ben Cleveland, Matt Clinkscales and Damian Williams. They are in Shreveport for the Max Emfinger All-American Bowl Game Classic.

"I've talked to (Malzahn)," Clinkscales said. "He's doing good over there and I think he's going to be fine."

Clinkscales said it's been weird talking to Malzahn as Arkansas' offensive coordinator and not his coach.

"I knew what he was talking about all the time when he was my coach," Clinkscales said. "Now that he's offensive coordiantor, he's telling me new stuff that I hadn't heard about. It's a different feeling."

Malzahn has also spoken with Williams, a wide receiver who still says he's a solid commitment to Florida.

Williams said, though, that he hasn't ruled out taking other official visits but is anxious to get signing day out of the way.

"It'll come," Williams said. "We've just got to take it one step at a time."

New Razorbacks quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Alex Wood will also have to take and pass the test before he can begin assisting with Arkansas' recruiting efforts. Wood figures to get this out of the way quickly with a pair of recruiting weekends looming as the Razorbacks coaching staff tries to put together a strong stable of players heading into the Feb. 1 National Signing Day.

Coaches can not comment on individual recruits until they sign.

Olive Branch Group Makes Mass Commitment
Much like Springdale, Olive Branch, Miss., High had a large group of top-level players this year.

It appears three of them, including two on the Razorbacks' radar, are headed to play together in college, committing to Ole Miss this week.

Allen Walker (6-2, 200, 4.6), an athlete who played linebacker and receiver, led the group of three choosing to make a verbal pledge to Ole Miss. Markeith Summers, another receiver who Arkansas offered, also committed to the Rebels, as did linebacker Jeremy Longstreet, who Arkansas was actively recruiting.

"We wanted to stay together," Longstreet told's Yancy Porter. "We just decided that Ole Miss is the best place for us to win championships. We want to make our home state proud."

Arkansas is still looking at a pair of players from Olive Branch, defensive tackle Victor Thomas and safety Anthony Summers.

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